Repurposed Wood Shutters Sign for Thanksgiving

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We’ve lived in our current home for two years and for the past two autumns I’ve been looking for a Thanksgiving decoration for my front porch. I hadn’t found anything substantial enough for the scale of our porch. When I found these shutters on Freecycle, I knew exactly what I wanted to do with them – make a repurposed wood shutters sign for Thanksgiving

2 orange signs that say "Give Thanks" by front door with dog laying on porch

These shutters are actually saloon style swinging doors, but you could use shutters or doors, too. If you keep an eye on Freecycle, recycling Facebook groups or thrift stores, you can find shutters for free or just dollars. The scale of the shutters make them perfect for making a sign for a large area, and they can easily be stored in a basement or attic the rest of the year.  

overhead view of 2 light wood shutters with jar of orange paint and sponge brush

I found this gorgeous chalk paint for about $5, so this entire project cost me just $5!

hand holding sponge brush with half of shutter painted orange

I painted two coats of paint on the shutters. The rustic look of chalk paint compliments the rustic look of the shutters. I didn’t worry about distressing them, but you could if you wanted to. 

yellow tape measure laying on top of painted orange shutter

Next I measured the sign and did some math to determine the height of the letters (don’t forget to plan for space between the letters).  I simply found a font that I liked in Word and printed the letters out. 

large black letters spelling "thanks"

I chose a font style that is substantial enough to make an impact from a distance.

collage of colorful Thanksgiving themed pages
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backside of printed letters with edges of letter scribbled on with pencil to outline

I flipped the printed letters over and shaded the outline of each letter with a pencil. You can see more about this technique on my DIY Pool Storage project. 

orange shutter with letters lined up vertically to spell out "thanks"

Next, I laid the letters out on the sign. Be sure to step back from the sign and check your spelling (ask me how I know). I held each letter in place and traced over the outline of the letter so that it transferred onto the shutter.

orange shutter with outline of letters

The resulting outline of the letters made it easy then to paint in my message. 

orange shutter with letters outlined in black and colored in in light black

I found that outlining each letter with a paint pen gives it a sharper appearance. 

black front door with orange shutter on either side saying "give thanks" and brown and tan dog laying on brick step in front

I’m so pleased with the way the shutters sign turned out. The signs make a big impact and share a wonderful message for the Thanksgiving season. They’re a more sophisticated decoration than last month’s Halloween decorations and I’m enjoying the contrast.

black front door with orange shutter on either side saying "give thanks" and brown and tan dog laying on brick step in front

Be on the lookout for wood shutters so that you can make your own repurposed wood shutters sign for Thanksgiving. 

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  1. Don’t you just love Freecycle!

    Your shutter signs are fantastic.I think I’ll PIN it to my Gratitude board. Thanks for sharing Susan.

    Best wishes, Darlene

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  3. These are so cute and I think, within my limited craft ability to make! I’m going to have to keep an eye out on Freecycle. We have a friend who goes to auctions every weekend, maybe he can find some for me. So excited to make these!

    1. I’d love to have a friend that goes to auctions, Corinne. I promise this is a doable craft project and quite rewarding.

  4. I love recycled crafts. Your idea to use discarded shutters to make a beautiful Thanksgiving decoration for your front porch is brilliant.

  5. I love these shutters and I think you did a great job with them. I have never tried the transfer method you used. I think you have a fantastic project for little money – Love It!

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